Electronic Lit Expanding

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Electronic Literature, though I barely heard of it before, seems to be expanding. Aside from sites like Fictionpress.com and blogging sites, I hadn't heard of any other type of place showing off literary works. Fictionpress, like blogging, can very linear where a reader can pick a story and read chapter by chapter or pick up on the chapter they left on. If they like the story, they can look at the author's other stories or other works that the author has highlighted as their favorites. Before this class, I hadn't heard of text reading any more complicated (or giving the reader more freedom) than this.

When we started with The Heist, I was put off because, to me, it was set up without any clear path and there were so many links jumping different points of views and different times in the story. The same thing happened with University of Yellow Wallpaper because it was chaos as my blog describes. I hadn't read Yellow Wallpaper before so I didn't understand why it was set up this way.

It wasn't until I hit The Body that I started to like hypertext literature and see that it offers a lot the electronic world. It is a hypertext narrative, one of the many forms of internet literature, that has the "shape and limit" of fiction (in my opinion) and is still non-linear.

 As I explored the Electronic Literature Volume 1, I saw many other forms of electronic literature like linear narratives, animated text, game-like literature, and stretchtext poetry. All these individual sites and literature made their own stories in creative ways that kept the interest of the reader and were mostly well done.

These sites called into question the basic principles like "fixed sentence" in my exploring of I, You, We. At this site, the creator allows the the reader to create and navigate their own story, not through links, but by turning the 3D world to make sentences that either begin or end with I, you, and we. The sentences are very the reader can start several sentences such as "I torment you" and imagine what happens from there. Or they can make another sentence to add onto the idea. "I torment you. You lament." The creator also gave the site the ability to move on its own and the reader can pick up a string of ideas as the words move around the center "I", which makes the idea that the reader is the center of this universe. (They have the control over this site to make what they want happen.) Depending on the reader, they may love or hate this style of interaction.

I also looked at a site that breaks the concept of "wholeness" by hiding information in the middle and taking away dialogue. In RedRidinghood, which I explored further, the story is animated, but lacks text or sound. The reader is not quite sure what is happening and finds out by clicking around the screen. At one point, the reader has the option of taking two paths. If they do not choose the path that allows Red to "dream" and if they do not click on Red in time, they will not see part of the middle of the story.

The middle of the story contains a dream sequence and her diary that might further explain what Red's complicated feelings  towards the Wolf Boy and her demonic-like attitude. If the reader takes time to find all of these links and watch the story over and over than they may understand what happens in the end. But, if they don't, this lack of togetherness makes it difficult for the reader to understand what happens in the end because it isn't the conventional tale of Little Red Ridinghood.

In these complicated and sometimes misguided attempts to story-telling, Electronic Literature is expanding to encompass a range of visual, audio, and textual experiences for the reader. Sometimes these experiences will turn out well or fun to navigate, while others haven't quite made the proper switch and can frustrate readers. 


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